Archive for the Blog Category

Journaling: The Precious Pulse

Journaling was my first best friend growing up. I didn’t know it with that first hardcover diary with lock and tiny key someone gave me for my 10th birthday, but it wasn’t long before I found out just how good it was to write about what was going on and

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No More ‘Blah Blah Blah’

Some people worry their life stories won’t translate to the page, that they’ll sound dull (“this happened, then this happened, then this happened”). It doesn’t have to be that way. It’s all in how you shape it. Think of how we live. This happens and then that happens, and then

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It Takes Dedication

Writing the stories of your life doesn’t happen in a day. It takes more than inspiration, writing when the urge strikes. It takes time and dedication. It wants the details that lift the story off the page, that take a reader there along with you, that share you with them

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The Deadline

I start writing at 11 pm. The deadline is midnight. Ever been there? It ain’t pretty. But I like deadlines. They get me going. They keep me going when I could say I don’t have time for this. Once I start something I have to finish it, especially when I

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Connect the Dots

A new writer asked me a good question the other day. She started writing memoir because she wanted to chronicle her life but only expected to write about the events of her life. She was finding out there was a whole lot more to it, namely, she was hearing she

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Like Watching a Stranger’s Travel Slides

Writing memoir is an interesting mix of ingredients. It’s personal story. It’s heartfelt expression. It’s writing in your true voice. But when we want others to read what we’ve written, it has to be all of this and so much more. How do you move a story from the personal

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Out of the Round File and Onto the Rack

I certainly spend more time thinking about and preparing for successes than rejections when it comes to pitching a book to a prospective agent or publisher, but the stories of famous authors being rejected before their ascent — and in some cases, that is an ascent to legendary status —

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The Power of Inner Peace

Jill Bolte Taylor is a neurologist and the renowned author of My Stroke of Insight, which describes her experience and insights gained from a stroke she suffered at age 37. One of her “strokes of insight” is that inner peace is just a thought away. Inner peace is just a

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Tips for Query Letters That Sell

At the Story Circle Network Women’s Memoir Conference in Austin this month I coached several women about query letters to agents and heard their frustrations with repeated rejections. One that stood out to me was a writer who had sent out as many as 60 queries and had no bites.

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Surprises at a Writer’s Conference

I’m a California native who has always lived within an hour of the ocean, which means I don’t know a lot about air-conditioning. But I learned about air-conditioning in Austin at the Stories from the Heart VI, the 6th National Women’s Memoir Conference, April 13-15. The rooms were cold, but

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